Kirsty MacColl October 10, 1959 – December 18, 2000
It’s that time of year when I listen to the song “Fairy Tale of New York” by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl on repeat every day. It makes me think of Kirsty and what kind of music she would be making if she were alive today. Today is the anniversary of Kirsty’s passing. Kirsty was tragically killed while on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico when she was swimming with her two sons. While surfacing from a dive, a powerboat sped at them. She pushed her son out of the boat’s path but was hit herself and killed instantly. She died while saving her child. MacColl enjoyed a successful career as a pop singer in the 80s before her heartbreaking death in 2000. As well as her own hits, she contributed her talents to other artist’s music like the Smiths, Billy Bragg and the Pouges. She sang backing vocals on the Smiths’ “Ask” in 1986. She also sang a cover of the Smiths’ song “You Just Haven’t Earned it Yet Baby” which was featured on the “She’s Having a Baby” soundtrack in 1988. One of her biggest hits was a cover of Billy Bragg's "A New England" in 1985. MacColl’s version of the song included two extra verses specially written for her by Bragg. Since her death Bragg has always included the extra verses when performing "A New England.” Some of my other favorite songs by MacColl are “Terry,” “He’s on the Beach,” and the heartbreaking “As Long As You Hold Me” from the “Mad Love” soundtrack. Her voice was so pretty.
A few more interesting facts: In the music video for MacColl’s song “Terry,” her boyfriend is played by British actor, Adrian Edmondson who was most famous for playing the role of Vyvyan on the 80s, British sitcom The Young Ones. Actor Matt Dillon makes an appearance as a police officer in the video for “Fairy Tale of New York.” MacColl originally wrote and recorded the song “They Don’t Know” in 1979 which later became a top ten, US hit after it was covered by Tracy Ullman in 1983.